Anpanman is arguably the most popular character for babies and young children in Japan.
He is a super hero whose head is made of Anpan, bread filled with sweet red bean paste. He can help people regain strength by feeding them bread from his head…
Anpanman is huge in Japan, there are TV series, movies, toys for babies and children, video games, arcade games, clothes, stuffed toys, kids plates and cutlery, snacks, curry, pasta…
You name it and there is probably an Anpanman product of it.
My son, who hadn’t even had Anpanman toys until recently is already crazy about him, he always points to his face in the shops, recognizes his name, and we have a feeling he has already said “Anpanman”!
I think it’s his big smiling face that makes him so appealing to children.
In Anpanman’s world there are a variety of characters,
His enemy, Baikinman (Mould Man), his little sister Melon Panna (Melon Bread), Akachan Man (Baby Man) who gains strength by drinking milk, Dokin chan who is Baikin Man’s girlfriend.
There are also Curry Pan Man, Shoku Pan Man (White Bread Man), Cheese the Dog, and many many more!
Seán got an Anpanman balloon recently, and loved it, but as always happens eventually, it deflated.
So we decided to buy him a new Anpanman toy and review it! We wanted to see if it worked as an educational tool. Since we are living in Japan, and Seán will be most likely attending all Japanese schools in future, I have to try hard to expose him to as much English as possible.
The toy we chose from babies ‘r’ us is the Anpanman Twirling Rolling Tower. It comes with colorful balls to roll down the spiral tower, and plays fun music including the Anpanman theme song.
We use the toy to teach him colors and “give me”.
English is becoming more and mire important in Japan , with the Olympics in Tokyo and World Expo in Osaka coming up in the near future.
Elementary schools are starting English education from an earlier age, and making it more of a priority in the curriculum. When I taught elementary school, the class was “foreign language activity” , which was great to introduce kids to other languages and cultures, but now it will be a proper school subject. Which is great too. Just hopefully it won’t become like Junior High and High school “rote learning” English which leaves a lot to be desired!
People are interested in starting kids off early learning English.
Sean can already understand many English and Japanese words! So I strongly believe that it’s important to foster a bilingual brain from a young age. Babies really take everything in and learn at a fast pace.
Sean loves his new toy and he’s doing a great job looking at the colors and following instructions, so I give the toy my seal of approval 👍🏻